Lively Tales About Dead Teams


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The springtime United States Football League published terrific game programs under the banner KICKOFF Magazine for all three years of its existence from 1983 through 1985. Each program contained 60 or more pages of nationally syndicated content about the USFL, plus a center insert of 20 or so pages about the local team and that day’s matchup.

We believe there to be 36 unique editions of KICKOFF that were published. Cover subjects include future Hall-of-Famers Jim Kelly (Houston Gamblers) and Steve Young (Los Angeles Express), along with other notable young stars who chose to begin their careers in the USFL instead of the NFL. This includes a trio of Heisman winners from 1983 to 1985 in Herschel Walker (New Jersey Generals), Mike Rozier (Pittsburgh Maulers) and Doug Flutie (Generals).

Copies of KICKOFF are pretty easy to find – there are a few dozen on e-Bay at any given moment. Even the three Championship Game Programs are pretty easy to get – ignore the sellers demanding $75 to $100 for these. The truly difficult editions here are the playoff quarterfinal and semi-final programs for the 1983, 1984 and 1985 seasons. These show up rather infrequently and fetch $30 to $50 each from collectors looking to complete their runs.

USFL Programs

Written by andycrossley

April 5th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

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  1. Thanks for posting these covers! I love the original ones from 1983 which have the illustrated covers. I never saw the Craig James one previously.


    17 May 13 at 10:39 pm

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